On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages to get higher rankings and get more relevant traffic on search engines. On-page SEO refers to the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, unlike off-page SEO, which refers to links and other external signals.
For beginners On-page SEO, we recommend reading our Google Ranking Signals. On-page SEO has changed over the years, so it’s important to keep up to date with the latest practices.
Do Blog Posts Help With SEO?
Blogs help improve SEO quality by positioning your site as a relevant answer to your clients’ questions. Blog posts that specifically use a variety of SEO tactics on the page can give you more search engine ranking opportunities and encourage customers to visit your site.
While clear blog content contributes to your SEO, Google’s numerous algorithm updates can complicate it. And the current best SEO practices are about relevance and intention.
So, when it comes to your blog, how do you know what matters and what doesn’t? What are today’s blog ranking tactics and what is considered “outdated”? How can you keep everything right?
Keep reading, I’ll explain.
Confusion is a common problem for digital content marketers, and we want to help. In this post, we will cover how to optimize your blog posts for the most important keywords, and some other optimization tactics you should consider.
In addition, there are other ways to simplify SEO in terms of your company’s blog.
Now let’s take a look at the 12 On-page SEO tips for blogs that you can take advantage of to improve the ability to search for your content.
SEO Tips For New Website
- Focus on 1-2 long-tail keywords that match the intent of your target reader
- Include your keywords 1–2 in specific parts of your post.
- Make sure your blog is suitable for mobile devices and responsive.
- Optimize your meta description and use all the space.
- Optimize your images with alternative text in the image.
- Don’t use too many similar theme tags.
- Use URL structures that help your visitors.
- Internal link whenever possible.
- Use Google Search Console
- Use subject groups.
- Create evergreen content.
- Adapt or update your current content and delete outdated content.
Note: This list does not cover all SEO rules under the sun. Instead, the following 12 On-page SEO tips are the factors on the page so you start with an SEO strategy for your blog.
1. Focus On 1-2 Long-tail Keywords That Match The Intention Of The Target Reader
Optimizing your blog posts for keywords does not mean incorporating as many keywords as possible into your posts. This is currently damaging your SEO because search engines consider completing this keyword (that is, including as many keywords as possible with the sole purpose of obtaining a high ranking in organic search).
Nor is it a good experience for the reader, a ranking factor that search engines now prioritize to ensure that it responds to the intention of their visitors. Therefore, you should use keywords in your content in a way that does not seem artificial or forced.
A good rule of thumb is to focus on one or two long-tail keywords per blog post. Although you can use more than one keyword in a single post, keep the focus of the post limited enough to allow you to spend time optimizing only one or two keywords.
You might wonder: why long-tail keywords?
These longer keywords, often based on questions, keep your post focused on the specific objectives of your audience. For example, the long tail keyword “how to write a blog post” is much more shocking in terms of SEO than the short keyword “blog post.”
Site visitors looking for long-tail keywords are more likely to read the full post and then get more information from you. In other words, they will help you generate the right kind of traffic.
2. Include 1–2 Keywords In Specific Parts Of Your Post
Now that you have one or two keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your blog. Where are the best parts of your posts to include these terms to rank high in the search results?
There are four essential places where you should try to include your keywords: title tag, headings, and body, URL and meta description.
The title (that is, the title) of your blog post will be the first step for a search engine and a reader to determine the relevance of your content. Therefore, including a keyword here is vital. Google calls this a “title tag” in a search result.
Be sure to include your keyword in the first 60 characters of your title, which is exactly where Google cuts the headlines in the SERP. Technically, Google measures pixel width, not character counting, and recently the pixel width of organic search results has increased from approximately 500 pixels to 600 pixels, which translates into about 60 characters.
Long title tag? When you have a long title, it is a good idea to put your keyword at the beginning, since it can be cut at the end of the SERPs, which can affect the perceived relevance of your post.
Headings and body
Mention your keyword in the normal cadence throughout the body of your post and in the headings. This means including your keywords in your copy, but only naturally and easily read. Don’t overdo the risk of being penalized for completing keywords.
Before you start writing a new blog post, you probably think about how to incorporate your keywords into your post. This is a smart idea, but it shouldn’t be your only focus, not even your main focus.
Search engines also look at your URL to find out what your post is about, and it’s one of the first things you crawl on a page. You have a great opportunity to optimize your URLs on every post you publish because all posts reside in your unique URL. Therefore, include one or two keywords in it.
Your meta description is intended to provide search engines and readers with information about the content of your blog post. That is, you should use your long-tail keyword so that Google and your audience are clear in the content of your post.
3. Make Sure Your Blog Is Compatible With Mobile Devices
Did you know that more people use a search engine on their cell phones than on a computer?
And for all valuable mobile search queries, Google first shows optimized results for mobile devices. This is another example that Google strongly favors sites optimized for mobile devices, which is true since the company updated its Penguin algorithm in April 2015.
So how do you make your blog optimized for mobile devices? Using responsive design. Responsive mobile sites allow blog pages to have only one URL instead of two: one for desktop and one for mobile, respectively. This helps the SEO of your post because inbound links that return to your site will not be divided between separate URLs.
As a result, it will centralize the SEO power obtained from these links, helping Google to more easily recognize the value of your post and classify it accordingly.
Pro advice: the value of search engines is constantly changing. Be sure to keep track of these changes by subscribing to the official Google blog.
4. Optimize The Meta Description
A meta description is an additional text that appears in the SERPs that allows readers to know what the link is about. The meta description provides search engines with the information they need to determine if their content is what they are looking for and, ultimately, helps them decide whether or not they click.
The maximum length of this meta description is longer than it was before, now about 300 characters, which suggests that you want to give readers more information about what each result will give them.
So, in addition to being easy to read (catchy and relevant), your meta description should include the long-tail keyword you are trying to classify.
5. Optimize Your Images With The Alt Text
Blog posts should not only contain text but should also include images that help explain and support their content. However, search engines don’t just look for images. Instead, they look for images with alt image text. That is, to ensure that your images benefit the SEO of your blog, you must include the alt text of the image.
You may wonder why this happens. Because search engines cannot “see” images in the same way as humans, alt text in an image tells the search engine what an image is. This helps to classify the images on the search engine image results page.
Alt image text also contributes to better user experience (UX): it is displayed inside the image container when an image cannot be found or displayed and can improve accessibility for people with low vision who use screen readers. Technically, alt text is an attribute that can be added to an HTML image tag.
This is what a complete image tag can look like (bold added to emphasize):
<img class="wt-blog__normal-image" src="image.jpg" alt="image-description" title="image tooltip">
The alt text should be descriptive in a useful way, that is, it should provide the search engine with the context to index the image if it is in a blog article related to a similar topic.
To provide more context, here is a list of things to consider when creating alt text for your blog images:
- Describe the picture
- Be specific in your description
- Keep it under 125 characters
- Use your keywords (but avoid excessive use of keywords)
6. Don’t Use Too Many Similar Topic Tags
Topic tags can help organize your blog content, but if you use them too much, they can be harmful. If you have many similar tags, search engines may penalize you for having duplicate content.
Think of it this way: when you create a topic tag, you also create a new site page where the content of these topic tags will appear.
If you use many similar tags for the same content, they will appear in the search engines as if you were displaying the content several times on your site. For example, topic tags such as “blog”, “blog” and “blog posts” are too similar to each other for use in the same post.
If you are concerned that your current blog posts have many similar tags, take the time to delete them. Choose from 15 to 25 topic tags that you consider important for your blog and are not very similar to each other.
7.Use URL Structures That Help Your Visitors
The URL structure of your web pages (which are different from the specific URLs of your posts) should make it easier for visitors to understand the structure of the site and the content they are about to see. Search engines favor the URLs of web pages that facilitate their understanding and that of site visitors.
What happens if you want to read a specific article, such as “How to do keyword research: a beginner’s guide”? Its URL structure, http://example.com/marketing/how-to-do-keyword-research-ht, indicates that it is an article in the Blog Marketing section.
Therefore, the URL structure acts as a categorization system for readers, informing where they are on the site and how to access new pages of the site. Search engines appreciate it because they facilitate the exact identification of the information that search engines will access different parts of your blog or website.
8. Internal Link Whenever Possible
Inbound links to your content help show the search engines the validity or relevance of your content. The same goes for internal links to other pages on your site. If you wrote about a topic mentioned in your blog post, e-book or website, it is a good practice to link to that page.
(You may have noticed that I have been doing this from time to time throughout this blog post when I find it useful for our readers). Internal links will not only help keep visitors to your site but also show other relevant information. . and authorized pages for search engines.
9. Use Google Search Console
The Google Search Console contains a section called Search Analytics Reports. This report helps you analyze Google Search clicks: it’s helpful to determine what keywords people use to find your blog content.
Remember, many content marketers struggle to optimize their blog posts for search. The truth is that your blog posts will not start sorting immediately. It takes time to create the search authority.
But when you publish blog posts frequently and constantly optimize them for the search while maintaining an intention-based reading experience, you get the rewards in the form of long-term traffic and leadership.
10. Use Topic Groups
As most blogs are currently structured (including our own blogs, until very recently), bloggers and SEO have worked to create individual blog posts classified for specific keywords.
This makes everything complicated and difficult for blog visitors to find the exact information they need. This also results in their URLs competing with each other in search engine rankings when they produce multiple blog posts on similar topics.
11. Continually Create And Publish Content
When planning and writing your blog articles, make sure the content is permanent. That is, the content is about topics that will surely remain relevant and valuable for a long time (with only minor changes or updates). Let’s look at some reasons why the evergreen content is so important:
- This will help you rank over time, not just in the near future.
- It contributes to constant amounts of traffic that reach your blog (and website) long after the publication date.
- This will help you generate leads over time as a result of continuously generated traffic.
All blog content, whether a long article, an instruction guide, frequently asked questions, tutorials, etc., must be permanent.
12. Repurpose Or Update Your Current Content And Delete Outdated Content
To improve your SEO, you can assume that you need to create new blog content. While this is partially true, you should also concentrate much of your time and energy on the content of the existing blog. Specifically, by redirecting and updating your current content, and removing your obsolete content.
This is because it takes much longer to install completely new content on the search engine results page (SERP) and gain authority, while you can update the content and get the benefits compared immediately.
Your updated content will not be ranked faster in SERP, which will improve your number of visitors and potential customers, but it also requires much less time and fewer resources to update a portion of existing content instead of creating a new article.
In addition, updating and redefining some of your most successful pieces of content will extend its lifespan so you can get the best results for a long period of time (especially if it is evergreen content).
The final part of this involves removing your outdated content that is no longer relevant to your audience. While your goal is to ensure that your content is always evergreen, part of it will be outdated over time. This includes statistics, product information (if any is included in your blogs, as your products and businesses evolve) or information that changes throughout the industry over time.
Your general rule should be if it no longer fits, and updating it makes no sense or does not work for the situation, just delete it.
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